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17 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Face mask guidance from government “inevitable“, says Starmer

By Samuel Horti

It is “inevitable” that the government will start advising the public to wear face masks in some situations, Labour leader Keir Starmer has said.

Many European countries, including France and Portugal, are encouraging the use of face masks in public, and Starmer noted that the “advice is changing on face masks” across the continent. “I think it’s inevitable that we will get to a stage where there will be instructions on face masks. I would like to talk to the government on that, because I don’t want to set up rival strategies or rival theories going forward,” he said. 

His comments follow calls from London mayor Sadiq Khan for face masks to be compulsory for anyone travelling around the capital.

Starmer criticised the government for failing to talk about its plan for easing coronavirus restrictions, after ministers rejected his calls for the publication of an exit strategy document earlier this week. “In other countries across Europe governments are openly talking about the exit plan. I don’t think the British are uniquely unable to understand the difference between lockdown and what comes next,” he said.

“Just parking this question, and saying we are not even going to look at it for another few weeks, I think is just fundamentally wrong.”

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